.- The Vatican announced on Thursday that Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop James Sartain of Joliet, Illinois to serve as Archbishop of Seattle. Bishop Sartain will succeed current Seattle archbishop Alexander Brunett, whose resignation was accepted by the Holy Father upon reaching the age of retirement.
Fifty-eight year-old Bishop Sartain was born in Memphis, Tennessee. After attending St. Meinrad College in Indiana, the prelate studied at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome, and earned a licentiate of sacred theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum.
In 1978, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Memphis, and in 2000 he was appointed as Bishop of the Diocese of Little Rock. He has also been a member of the Advisory Council for the Institute for Priestly Formation and currently serves on the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Bishop Sartain will shepherd an archdiocese of 5,202,500 people, with 579,500 – 11 percent – of them being Catholic.
Retiring prelate Archbishop Brunett grew up in Detroit and studied in the city's Sacred Heart Seminary, He was ordained a priest for the Detroit Archdiocese in 1958 and was appointed bishop of Helena, Montana in 1994, and archbishop of Seattle in 1997.